Rory McIlroy is looking to take the place of Tiger Woods after the world number one revealed he will miss next weeks Masters.
Woods withdrew following back surgery meaning McIlroy will certainly be one of the leading contenders at Augusta. The Northern Irishman admitted that he will be receiving "a little bit" more attention due to Woods' admission.
The 24-year old also said that he's attempting to emulate greats like Woods, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson starting at The Masters on April 10.
"Golf's in a funny place at the minute," McIlroy told BBC Sport.
"You are getting so many different winners and there are not as many guys dominating the sport like in the past with Tiger, Vijay and Phil.
"I'd like to establish myself as that sort of player and someone's got to step up, so I'm trying to be that person and it would be a great place to start next week."
McIlroy has just two major titles to his name, compared to Woods' 14. However these victories, which came in the 2011 US Open and the US PGA in 2012, meant that the world number seven had won his first two majors at a younger age than Woods. McIlroy revealed that he knew that Woods was likely to miss this years Masters but wished him a speedy recovery. He also believes that Augusta will miss the inclusion of one of the best players to play the game.
"I knew that it was going to happen, but I didn't realise it was so serious that he needed surgery," he said.
"Obviously everyone wishes him a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back very soon because golf is better with Tiger Woods playing."
Woods has had a very difficult start to the year after four disappointing tournaments. In January he was tied 80th after three rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open before withdrawing. At the end of that month he tied 41st at the Omega Dubai Desert. In March he withdrew from the Honda Classic after the third round and finished tied 25th at the World Golf Championships.
The upcoming Masters will be the first Woods has missed in his playing career and McIlroy gave his theory as to why the 38-year old has been struggling with injuries recently.
"He's had four operations on his left knee, he's had operations on his Achilles," said McIlroy.
"It seems like his lower back has been maybe working a little harder than it should have, to compensate for the surgeries he's had in his lower body.
"So I think surgery is a good thing for him. He's got the best advice in the world so he will only come back when he's ready to play."
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